Friday, August 6, 2010

I Crave Your Mouth, Your Voice, Your Hair

Pablo Neruda has long been one of my favorite poets.
I first discovered him pursuing a Spanish minor in Bloomington...sophomore year maybe? The tricky thing about a Spanish Lit class is that the interpretation of the translation is often so loose that our essays would vary wildly and erratically...and I was constantly worried I got it wrong.

Until Neruda.

I was mesmerized the first time I read this poem out loud. I wrote it in dry erase marker over and over. At one point I had it memorized. It's gorgeous read aloud... it's even striking in English. And that's something, because in my experience the translation of something into one's own language is never quite as powerful...

So today, enjoy Neruda.

I Crave Your Mouth, Your Voice, Your Hair
-Pablo Neruda

Tengo hambre de tu boca, de tu voz, de tu pelo y por las calles voy sin nutrirme, callado, no me sostiene el pan, el alba me desquicia, busco el sonido líquido de tus pies en el día. Estoy hambriento de tu risa resbalada, de tus manos color de furioso granero, tengo hambre de la pálida piedra de tus uñas, quiero comer tu piel como una intacta almendra.

Quiero comer el rayo quemado en tu hermosura,
la nariz soberana del arrogante rostro,
quiero comer la sombra fugaz de tus pestañas

y hambriento vengo y voy olfateando el crepúsculo buscándote, buscando tu corazón caliente como un puma en la soledad de Quitratúe.

I crave your mouth, your voice, your hair.
Silent and starving, I prowl through the streets.
Bread does not nourish me, dawn disrupts me, all day
I hunt for the liquid measure of your steps.

I hunger for your sleek laugh,
your hands the color of a savage harvest,
hunger for the pale stones of your fingernails,
I want to eat your skin like a whole almond.

I want to eat the sunbeam flaring in your lovely body,
the sovereign nose of your arrogant face,
I want to eat the fleeting shade of your lashes,

and I pace around hungry, sniffing the twilight,
hunting for you, for your hot heart,
like a puma in the barrens of Quitratue.

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